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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:10 am 
Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Yesterday I attended a small writer's workshop that was directed by a very talented friend. The last session of the day was a discussion about "sharing your story". She wasn't referring to fiction, but using writing to share your life with people. At the end she opened it up for questions and I asked what she thought about what the best timing for sharing personal things was. First, (like with many of the other questions) she opened it up for others writers to comment. One of the other women there said this: "If you tell your story in real time, the elements of your story that are happening to you begin to identify your personhood. Events that happen to you are not who you are." She then went on to explain that if you wait to share the things that are happening, sometimes you are able to better fit them into the context of your life. I thought it was a really interesting comment from a lot of different angles. First the reminder that events that surround us do not define us, and then the observation that if we spend a lot of time sharing it before we take the time to process and heal from something, that sometimes we absorb unhealthy lessons from it.
To be clear, they were NOT talking about sharing your story in the context of healing (like in therapy, or something like RN where the purpose is to connect with others who have experienced similar things), or sharing for the purpose of gaining support, but specifically telling your story to share who you are. The comment is something I've been processing over the last few days and if anyone has any thoughts, feel free to share them!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:03 pm 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
What an interesting question. Interesting to me because it makes me consider that as I go through the workshop and post on the forum, it's actually an act of telling my story in real time.

I'm listening with my kids to the audiobook of Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, which made me think about your question. In fact, Anne was telling her story in real time, as well as processing it with some incredibly insightful philosophical analysis that helped her find meaning in her experience. Her story has this amazing quality of raw detail along with philosophical process that makes a riveting story.

Like Anne (though way less elegantly), I feel like my story in real time--writing the raw detail--actually helps me shape it in a positive way and look for the meaning in it. For example, I just posted a question about boundaries and my kids, and the mere process of writing the question made the answer quite clear.

The difference from writing it in the future, where you have less rawness and more distance, is that in the present you actually have writing as a tool to shape and process, and that can be ever so positive--as well as make for a more interesting read should you ever share it with a readership.

Well, I think, anyway. Ask me again in 10 years when I'm not in the middle of my own drama.

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